Updated March 31, 2021 with New Information!
Looking for your Microsoft Office License Key or your Windows license? You will probably be in luck with this new information I ran across from the How-To Geek. They highlight NirSoft ProduKey
They stress that this is an open-source and crap-ware free download that is extracted and quickly run. Not only will it show your Microsoft Office 2013 (or probably other versions) license key, it’ll also show your Windows Product Key, if you need access to that.
Visit this section of NirSoft’s website, read through the instructions and download the program. After the download (I downloaded in a zip file), right-click on the folder and extract. Open the extracted folder and click on the ProdKey application (shown below)
Immediately, it’ll open up a screen and show you the Microsoft Product keys you have on your computer. You can see in this example, it has found the Microsoft Office 2013 key and the Windows 7 Professional key. I was after the Win 7 key to have on hand when doing an upgrade.
Congratulations – you’ve found your Windows license keys!
(Article from May of 2015)
If you’ve had occasion to find your misplaced or lost Microsoft Office 2013 license key, you may have noticed it’s much more difficult to get.
Previously, I’ve relied on Belarc to reveal all license keys (among other things). There is another program called Magical Jelly Bean that people have used in the past (would advise you not use this, more later).
Another way of finding your license keys is by running regedit (registry editor), on your local machine and navigating to the right place to find your key. I saw this tip from 2013, I don’t believe it works now.
Recently, I needed to find a Microsoft Office 2013 key for a client and first went to Belarc. After the report ran, I was stumped as to why it wasn’t showing up.
After doing searching, I found this article from About Tech with this disappointing excerpt:
Unfortunately, Microsoft changed how they handled Microsoft Office product keys beginning with Office 2013, storing only part of the product key on your local computer. This means that those product key finder programs aren’t quite as helpful as they used to be.
So it seems that with this change, finding a product key will be extremely difficult. This is why it’s more important than ever to store license keys in a safe place. In fact, it’s good to have them in several places. In my case, I knew the business owner had the license key in his office and I was able to get it the next day.
Going back to my Magical Jelly Bean comment – I decided to give this program a try, but when I began the install process, I was reading through the TOS (terms of service), and saw they wanted to install some program on my computer – it was a search engine or something similar. When I saw that, I exited out without installing. More and more ‘free’ programs want to install unwanted software. I usually just say no!
When you purchase Office from a store, you will have the card or case with the 25-digit number on it. If you bought it from the Microsoft Store on-line, you can sign in with the account you used to purchase it and all your history will be in there. Caveat – if you purchased several copies of Office – you may not know which went on which machine so you need to write it down.
In my case, we had installed Office 2013 on about 10 or so work stations and I wrote down names on the corresponding card. But when I went to reinstall the product – I found I didn’t need to enter in the key. It reinstalled Office with all the person’s credentials. I don’t know how it happened – perhaps during the install process it found the old key, but was just thankful it did.
Things are always changing. It’s good to keep up on the latest ways to keep your information secure.
If any of you have been able to retrieve a license key, share how you did it in the comments!